James Worthy lambasts referees after missing decisive foul call on LeBron James in Lakers' OT loss against Celtics: "They should be ashamed"
James Worthy blasted the referees for not awarding LeBron James with a whistle at the end of regulation during the LA Lakers' 125-121 OT loss against the Boston Celtics. The former NBA champion with the Lakers showed no remorse to the officials in charge of the game. Here's what Worthy said (via Lakers Daily):
"That one right there pissed me off. That was one of the worst referee crews that I seen officiating a game. ... That referee crew shouldn't get to call more big games. ... They should be ashamed, they really should."
Worthy's passionate rant certainly has links to the rivalry between the two franchises and his time with the Lakers. The Hall of Famer bleeds Purple and Gold through and through, which explains his frustrations with the no-call. But that wasn't the sole reason behind Worthy's bold rant.
One of the referees had a clear angle on that possession in which Jayson Tatum smacked LeBron James' left hand at the end of the regulation period. Many such calls this season have left everyone scratching their heads, as some of these no-calls have altered the results of marquee games. The Lakers have been in this situation four times over the last two weeks, with every game ending in a loss for the 17-time champions.
The Lakers could've been over the .500 mark by now, but instead, they are behind by four games. LA hasn't moved out of the lottery spots all season long, and if some of these calls went their way, they could've made a significant jump in the standings by now.
Referee admits LeBron James got fouled by Jayson Tatum
The referee in-charge, Eric Lewis, admitted that LeBron James was fouled by Jayson Tatum on the last possession of the regulation period. Lewis said the crew missed the play and didn't see a foul during the game. The game was tied at 105-105 at the time.
If the call went the Lakers' way, James would've made a trip to the foul line to shoot a pair of free throws. Converting even one of those would've likely done the job as the Celtics barely had a second left on the game clock to bring the ball up the court.
LeBron James and Co. were the better team for most of the game, so the loss was a tough pill to swallow for the team and their fans. The Lakers camp didn't hold off on their thoughts either as coaches and players publicly called out the officials during post-game pressers and on social media.